So this is what being a champion feels like.
After 19 years of waiting and wishing, fans of the Halifax Mooseheads were soaking up each and every moment as they watched their beloved team who they supported through the good times and bad celebrate as QMJHL champions.
In fact, many didn’t want to leave the moment, still standing and cheering as the players celebrated on the ice well after the final horn sounded.
“I’m so excited and I’m so happy for the boys,” screamed Peggy Carroll of Dartmouth as people yelled and screamed around her. “I’ve been waiting for this a long time … this is incredible. They deserve it, everyone of them.”
Many who took in Friday night’s title-clinching game were also at the Metro Centre in the fall of 1994 when this then expansion team stepped onto the ice for the first time and quickly became the city’s most beloved sports franchise ever.
The magnitude of the moment wasn’t lost on those fans, either.
“Being here at the first game in 1994, this is a big deal. Sitting here for the last five years, struggling like we did, it’s a pleasure to watch,” said Mooseheads fan Matt Boudreau, a Sydney native who now lives in Dartmouth.
“To see this after 19 years, it’s pretty sweet.”
Thirty minutes after the game ended, the remaining fans were allowed to join the team on the ice – a sign that this wasn’t just the Mooseheads title – but an entire city’s.
“It’s unreal. We’ve had unmatched support from our fans all year,” said Mooseheads defenceman Trey Lewis. “We just love it. We love all of them”